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This happened in the sheep world on the Sloping Meadows. Aja, a big ewe with thick fleece and round eyes, gave birth to her first lamb, who looked like all newborns, a fist of damp wool starting to bleat. It was a girl, an orphan, because a few days earlier Aja had lost her husband whom she dearly loved.
The mother called her child Aska, thinking the name most suitable for a soon-to-be, gorgeous sheep.
During the first few days, the lamb, like all young lambs, followed her mother, but when it started to run on her still rigid and uncommonly long legs and graze by herself, the lamb showed her temperament. Aja sharply admonished her otherwise well-behaved, intelligent, and beautiful daughter.
Aja gave Aska firm advice and strong rebukes, to teach her the many risks of this sort of behavior in a neighborhood like theirs, where always runs some cunning and bloodthirsty wolf, the kind of wolf that does not fear the shepherds and kills ewes and their young, especially when they splinter off and meander about. Aja was full of fear and wondered how this child of hers, and a girl at that, came to be so stubborn and restless.
In school, Aska was clever and progressed quickly. But every time when her mother went to school to ask about her grades and performance, the teacher would go on and on about how Aska could do much better if she were not so distracted. It was only in physical education that she continuously excelled with high marks.
One day, after Aska had passed her classes with only modest success, she stood before her mother and told her that she wanted to go to ballet school. At first, her mother strongly opposed the idea, providing many reasons against it, each one more convincing than the last. Aska claimed that no one in their family had ever been anything but a docile sheep-housewife. The ways of art were dubious, deceptive, and hard, and dancing was the hardest and most deceptive of arts, even a disreputable and dangerous one.
No sheep from a good family had ever followed such a path, and so on. Finally, what would the rest of the sheep community say if they heard that her daughter had taken just such a path? This is how the well-meaning, worried mother spoke to Aska.
She wondered what, after all, could be so wrong with art? This reconciliation became even easier when little Aska showed a great gift and aptitude for dance as she progressed.
Along with this, the girl was as innocent and as guileless as anyone could wish. And one day, the event that Aja was so afraid of actually happened. Aska finished the first class of ballet school with the highest marks and was about to begin the second class. It was the start of autumn; the sun was strong but beginning to fade and there were brief, warm showers that made a happy rainbow over the wet, sunny fields.
That day Aska was very happy and very carefree. Taken by the freshness of the day and the beauty of the delicious grass, she journeyed to the far edge of the beech woods and even into them. The grass was especially juicy in that area, she thought, deep inside the woods. The sun drove away the milky fog still lingering in the woods like the remains of some night dance—white, bright, and quiet. Running through the bright, green fields, one after another, Aska inhaled the scents of the old bent beeches covered with mosses like the opiate of a story about an extraordinary event.
It seemed to her that this story with its uncountable number of remarkable experiences had no end. Then, when she arrived at one of the fields——she found herself suddenly face to face with an awful wolf. Tricky, old, and perky, he had crept into the field to which wolves do not usually come at that time of year. His fur, green and brown, made it possible for him to blend easily with the autumn beeches and dry grasses.
Her blood froze and her thin legs could not move. She remembered to call for her relatives and she opened her mouth, but there was no sound. Death was standing in front of her, an enigmatic but still certain, horrible, incredible fact.
He was incredulous if wolves can be said to be capable of doubting as well as suspicious which wolves are quite capable of of a trap: How did a young, white, pretty lamb wander so far astray as to step right into his jaws? For his victim, there were strange, unexpected moments, somewhere between mortal horror into askq she had entered and the unbearable, bloody, final fact hidden behind the word, death.
This gave the terrified Aska a tiny bit of time, when she thought there was none left, and the time was so short that it did not seem like time at all. She felt that she still had strength for movement, but it was not a movement to protect herself because she was not capable of that.
Her last movement would only be dance. With great difficulty, like a dream, the girl took her asma step, one she had practiced at the ballet barre that was not even yet a dance. Quickly, she took another step, and then another.
They were small, modest steps for a body destined to die soon, but they were enough to befuddle for a moment the astonished wolf. And once she started to move, she continued to igo just the same steps with the horrible feeling that she must not stop because if she allowed just a brief interval between her steps, death would surely enter through this small opening. Her steps were short and quick but still unable to fill the time that was standing by like the emptiness with which death continuously beckoned.
She then progressed to the figures she had learned without the support of a ballet barre in the middle of the school hall. But her abilities and knowledge were limited to just that. She could make two or three figures as they were meant to be performed and she did them with dread. First one, then another, and then a third. And that was the limit of her knowledge and skills. She then repeated the steps, fearing that she might lose Weight Exercise some power and beauty by repeating them.
And andricc vain she tried to remember something more that she could do to overcome the event that awaited her at the end. The wolf waited and watched, and he started to come closer, and in front of her all doors to classical ballet were closing and the voice of her teacher became more and more faint, eventually disappearing.
Her knowledge had developed to a good point, but now it had come to an end. Her skills had abandoned her, her school could not teach her anything more, but she had to live and, if she wanted to anxric, she had to perform a dance.
Who knows if this world, since its beginnings, has ever seen what the modest and nameless woods above the Sloping Meadows saw that day? Over the green meadow, through tight passages, between grey, hard beech trees and above the smooth and brown carpet of leaves that fall year after year in layers, Aska, the lamb, danced, no longer a lamb, not yet a ewe, light and lively, like white milkweed carried by the wind, becoming grayish when she entered a aneric of fog, becoming abaze like a stage show when she entered a meadow covered by sun.
The plodding step and fixed gaze of the old wolf, the perpetual, invisible butcher of her flock, followed askka. The cagey, cool, and proverbially wary wolf, who was afraid of neither people nor animals, was at first surprised.
This attitude, though, slowly turned into a marveling and irrepressible curiosity. Initially, he remembered who he was, what he was, where he was, and what he had to do, saying to himself: This way I will not only have her blood and her meat but also have her strange, amusing, ahdric, wild dance, a dance I have never seen before. Her blood and meat are mine any time I would like and anyway I can take them, but not till the very end of the dance, when I have seen the entire wonder. Thinking like this, the wolf followed the lamb, stopping when she stopped and moving whenever she speeded up the movements of the dance.
Aska was not thinking anything.
Aska i vuk – Ivo Andrić • BookLikes (ISBN)
From her tiny body, which was solely sustained with the sap of the joy of life but which was destined soon to die, Aska employed her unusual strengths and amazing skills asska movement. She knew but one thing: Then arose another wonder: This previously unknown feeling of wonder so penetrated the aka that askka forsaken lamb, terrified of death, dragged the wolf along with her as if she were towing him with an unseen rope tethered to an invisible ring fastened on his snout.
I can tear her apart at any moment, whenever I would like. But I want to see the wonder, to see this one last movement, and then the next.
And so on, one step after another, and another, but each one entirely new and exciting, promising yet another, still even more exciting step, Aska passed from one field to another, through one clearing to another, into dark forests, and under damp passages between beech trees covered with huge, mature leaves. Aska was feeling as if there were a hundred lives inside her, and she used all their strength to preserve the one life that she had and that was already past regretting.
We do not know ivk strength or what possibilities lie hidden in any living creature. Nor do we imagine all that we can do. We live and we die, but we do not know all that we could have become or could have done.
Such insight is revealed to us only during momentous and exceptional events such as this one in which Aska danced her movements having already lost the life she had. Her body did not tire any longer now, and her dancing vuj her strength for yet more dancing. She performed newer and newer figures, figures that no school and no ballet teacher had ever andricc imagined.
When she thought that the wolf was coming to an awareness of who he was and what he was, Aska hastened her dancing and courage. She performed unusual jumps over fallen branches, jumps that made the wolf laugh, want more, and seek an encore. After that she would stand lvo straight, only on her front legs, running through various flat and green lawns along the woods with her tiny, fast hooves.
When she would come upon a hill, ivl would plunge herself down its slope, pretending she was a brazen skier going anxric a hill made from smoothed-over, dry leaves, just as fast as when a person runs his thumb across the piano keys: And the wolf would follow her as quickly as he could, not to miss seeing any part of the dance movement.
He kept trying to convince himself that he had her blood and her meat, but he just wanted to see the end of the dance.
Aska i vuk
This end, though, was starting to look less and less attainable every second because the dance was overwhelming him and making him forget vk else. Neither of them now measured either the time or the length of the path. She was alive and he was enjoying himself. When the shepherds heard the woeful voice of Aja and sensed the apprehensive mood passing through the flock, they selected among themselves two younger men and sent them into the woods for the lost, wayward lamb.
One of them had only an old bludgeon, but a stout one, and the other carried a rifle, if we could even call it that. Who knows if it was true or not, as is the case with every story such vhk this one? Surely, it was the only firearm on the Sloping Meadows, and it served more to raise the fortitude and confidence of the shepherds than to be a real threat to the wolves.
They came to the edge of the forest and hesitated a bit, wondering in which direction to move. They went along a trail of green grass and rich pasture as their best anddric.
Just as they entered deeper into the forest and climbed a small hill, they saw in front of them a bizarre sight. They stopped and were silent. Through a deep opening in the boughs they could see Aska performing over the green meadows brave and precise pirouettes followed by the tired, old wolf just a few steps behind.